Dr. Thomas F. Christian, a member of the Senior Executive Service, currently serves as Director for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), where he guides the management of the entire basic research investment for the Air Force. Dr. Christian leads a staff of 200 scientists, engineers and administrators in Arlington, Va., and foreign technology offices in London, Tokyo and Santiago, Chile. Each year, AFOSR selects, sponsors and manages revolutionary basic research that impacts the future Air Force. AFOSR interacts with leading scientists and engineers throughout the world to identify breakthrough opportunities; actively manages a $510 million investment portfolio encompassing the best of these opportunities; and transitions the resulting discoveries to other components of the Air Force Research Laboratory, to defense industries and to other federal agencies. The office's annual investment in basic research is distributed among over 200 leading academic institutions worldwide, 100 industry-based contracts, and more than 250 internal AFRL research efforts.
Dr. Christian entered federal service in 1968 as an aerospace engineer at the Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, Ga., where he designed depot structural repairs to C-130 and C-141 aircraft returning from Southeast Asia. Following completion of his doctoral research in 1973, he worked in both the nuclear power and manufacturing industries. In 1980, he re-entered federal service at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, establishing an organic durability and damage tolerance analysis capability for the C-130, C-141 and F-15 weapon systems. Dr. Christian became the technical adviser for the System Program Management Division and served on several national technical committees of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
As Chief Engineer for the Special Operations Forces System Program Office, he managed major modifications to the AC-130H and MH-53J weapon systems and a joint MH-60G flight test program with the Australian Defense Forces. He also served as Director of the 402nd Software Maintenance Group. Dr. Christian moved to the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson AFB, where he became the Director of Engineering for the Agile Combat Support Systems Wing. He provided systems engineering direction for aging aircraft, combat electronics, life support, propulsion and simulator systems with an annual budget of $3 billion. He then became a Senior Level executive as the Technical Adviser, Systems Engineering, at the Aeronautical Systems Center, where he provided technical oversight and advice to the highest Air Force and government officials concerning the $11 billion aeronautical enterprise's annual acquisitions. He then went on to become the Director at the Air Force Center for Systems Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Prior to his current position, Dr. Christian served as the Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary (Science, Technology, and Engineering) responsible for assisting the DAS(ST&E) in development and formulation of Air Force Science, Technology, and Engineering strategy and policy spanning systems engineering; environmental safety and occupational health; industrial preparedness; and functional management of more than 14,000 military and civilian scientists and engineers.
1968 Bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1970 Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1974 Doctor of Philosophy in aerospace engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
1976 Master of Science degree in engineering administration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
1982 Air Command and Staff College, by seminar
1983 Air War College, by seminar
2006 U.S. Air Force Senior Leadership Course, Center for Creative Leadership, Greensboro, N.C.
2012 Vanguard Senior Executive Leadership Program, Washington, D.C.
1. June 1968 - January 1970, aerospace engineer, Service Engineering Division, Warner Robins Air Materiel Area, Robins AFB, Ga.
2. January 1970 - September 1973, doctoral candidate, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
3. September 1973 - July 1977, senior design engineer, Nuclear Analytical Engineering Department, Combustion Engineering Inc., Chattanooga, Tenn.
4. July 1977 - April 1980, team manager, IF-1 Pilot Plant, Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Co., Macon, Ga.
5. April 1980 - October 1985, aerospace engineer, System Program Management Division, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins AFB, Ga.
6. October 1985 - November 1987, Chief Engineer, System Program Management Division, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
7. November 1987 - January 1990, Engineering Section Chief; acting Branch Chief, C-130 System Program Management Division, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
8. January 1990 - October 1990, Engineering Branch Chief, Special Operations Forces System Program Management Division, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
9. October 1990 - February 1995, Fixed Wing Division Chief, Special Operations System Program Management Office, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
10. February 1995 - August 2001, Chief Engineer, Special Operations Forces System Program Management Office, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
11. August 2001 - October 2001, Chief Engineer, Avionics Management Directorate, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
12. October 2001 - March 2003, Deputy Chief, later, acting Chief, Software Engineering Division, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
13. March 2003 - March 2005, Chief, Software Engineering Division, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
14. March 2005 - September 2005, Director, 402nd Software Maintenance Group, Warner Robins ALC, Robins AFB, Ga.
15. September 2005 - April 2006, Director, Engineering, Agile Combat Support Systems Wing, Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
16. April 2006 - January 2011, Technical Adviser of Systems Engineering, Engineering Directorate, ASC, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
17. January 2011 - March 2013, Director, Air Force Center for Systems Engineering, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
18. March 2013 - November 2014, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary (Science, Technology, and Engineering), Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
19. November 2014 - present, Director, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Va.
AWARDS AND HONORS
Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service
Meritorious Civilian Service Award (2)
Exemplary Civilian Service Award (3)
Civilian Achievement Award
Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Award (DAC Category)
Supervisor of the Year, Warner Robins Air Logistics Center
Lieutenant Colonel, Aide-De-Camp, Governor's Staff (Georgia)
Order of the Engineer
Pi Tau Chi Honorary
TAU BETA PI Honorary
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award (4)
Presidential Award for Quality and Productivity Improvement (AFLC)
Logistics Civilian Career Enhancement Program (LCCEP) Cadre
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Fellow, Ohio Academy of Science
Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Adjunct Full Professor of Engineering, Mercer University
New York Academy of Science
Sigma Xi, The Research Society
American Academy of Mechanics
Senior Executives Association
American Helicopter Society
Air Force Association
International Council on Systems Engineering
American Society for Testing and Materials
SOLE- The International Society of Logistics
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Professional Engineer (Georgia)
Certified Professional Logistician (Society of Logistics Engineers)
Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering Level III
Acquisition Logistics, Level III
Program Management, Level III
Test and Evaluation, Level III
Manufacturing, Production and Quality Assurance, Level III
(Current as of November 2014)